Fundamental #12

What is Passover?

Fundamental #12

Memory Scripture

For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.—John 13:15


Summary Statement

The first Passover took place hundreds of years ago when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. Nine plagues had already happened. Moses and the Israelites knew a deadly tenth plague was coming unless careful instructions were obeyed. God would spare the Israelites—He would pass over their homes and not allow His plague to enter there, as long as these instructions were followed.

From generation to generation, the Israelites were to remember this miraculous event and tell their children that they had been passed over and spared death by God that night. The evening was to be kept each year as a memorial (something to be remembered) and a festival.

In the New Testament, the night before He died, Jesus Christ was keeping the Passover with His disciples when He added some new symbols to the memorial service. He added a foot-washing ceremony and unleavened bread and wine. Following Jesus Christ’s instruction and example, Christians today use these new symbols each year, once a year, when they take part in the Passover service. It is a memorial of Israel’s deliverance; but more importantly, it is a memorial of Jesus Christ’s death.

The New Testament Passover is one of seven festivals still kept by Christians today. It occurs once a year in the spring (in the Northern Hemisphere), and though the date changes on our modern calendar from year to year, it is the same date on the ancient Hebrew calendar each year.


Begin Your Study

Read through the memory scripture together with your children, then read through the summary statement (remember to simplify the statement, if necessary). Have your children cut and paste the summary statement from this page in their “Fundamentals Bible Study Journal” (as suggested in the Memorizing Scripture resource “The Fundamentals”). Then have your children read and write the memory scripture, John 13:15, in their journals.

Tell your children that the Passover is a very special evening. Ask, Do you remember creating the three days and three nights “ancient” calendar? (For a refresher, you may find Fundamental #8 helpful. For a reminder of why Jesus Christ died, you may also wish to review Fundamental #7.)  We never want to forget what God the Father and Jesus Christ have done for us. That is why we keep the Passover service every year.

Read through John 13 with your child. Then highlight how during the Passover service, Christ washed the disciples’ feet. He was doing something for someone else—something that most people would normally not want to do for others (in fact, washing someone else’s feet was something the lowest servant in the house would have to do). In John 13:15, it says that Christ has given us an example. Just as He served others, always thinking about others before Himself, we are to follow that example.

In their journals, have your children write down ways that they have seen others serve, doing something kind and thoughtful for someone else. Older children could go through specific sections of the Gospels (or just choose one book: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and create a list of all the many ways that Christ served and looked out for the needs of others.


Digging Deeper Interaction #1

Today you’re going to create a special memento to remember both the Old and New Testament Passover: a Passover box!

A box with compartments, such as an egg carton, makes a great resource for this activity. Collect items that are relevant to the Old Testament Passover and place them in the box (refer to Exodus 12 for ideas on what to include). Some ideas are: a lamb figurine, a miniature door smeared with red paint, and a small human figurine (to represent a firstborn). Discuss each item as you place it in the box. Next collect items that are relevant to the New Testament Passover and place them in the box (refer to Luke 22 and John 13). Some ideas are: a communion cup, unleavened bread, and a small piece of towel. Discuss each item as you place it in the box.

You may find that other members in your congregation have already collected items for a Passover box. Ask them for ideas and resources. If you are a member of the EEI Facebook group, do a search for “Passover box” to find even more information and resources.


Digging Deeper Interaction #2

Before Jesus Christ sacrificed His life, He had a special meal with His disciples to tell them all about the New Testament Passover. To help your children imagine what that time in history was like, have a special family dinner with foods from the times of the first century. Include unleavened bread and other traditional foods of the region. You may also wish to include lamb or goat as the main dish. Discuss the meaning of the symbols of the New Testament Passover. Remember to read the memory scripture during your special meal!


Bible Story: The First Passover

To understand the New Testament Passover, it is helpful and important to know about the Old Testament Passover and the events leading up to it. Read through Exodus 7-12 with your children.

You may find the EEI resource “Passover” (in the Word of God section) helpful as you go through the scriptures. Thought-provoking discussion points are included.


Bonus Ideas

Write a play! After reading through the Old Testament Passover and the events of the 10 plagues, in Exodus 7-12, have your children write their own play about Israel leaving Egypt! After the play is written, your children can act out the play with friends or family members. Children who enjoy working with technology could create a PowerPoint story or iMovie video to share with the family.

Find the illustrated chart and fill-in sheet resource “The 10 Plagues of Egypt” in the Additional Resources section. Discuss what you and your children learn together.

Locate the “3 Days and 3 Nights” resource in the Additional Resources section and create a timeline of the events surrounding Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.


Wrap-up Activity

To make this Fundamental’s scripture poster, cut out the shape of a lamb on paper, paste it on card stock and have your child write out John 13:15 on the poster. Hang the poster somewhere in the house.

To end your study, have your child recite the memory scripture for a small audience, perhaps at the beginning of a special family meal.

Further Your Study

The Fundamentals

The Fundamentals

Kids are well-known for asking lots of questions. Wouldn’t it be great to have some answers and scriptures already prepared? Our “Fundamentals” series asks the basic questions of life and provides scriptures to memorize for the Read More >



The first annual festival, Passover, lays the foundation for all the following festivals. Teach your children about this solemn memorial of Jesus Christ’s death and what His sacrifice means for us today. Several pages of discussion points are Read More >

Fundamental #7

Fundamental #7

Why did Jesus die? What did this do for us? Start with a memory scripture and follow the interactive study to help your children build a firm foundation in God’s Word. Read More >

Fundamental #8

Fundamental #8

How long was Jesus in the grave? Did He leave a sign that He really was the Son of God? Start with a memory scripture and follow the interactive study to help your children build a firm foundation Read More >

The 10 Plagues of Egypt

The 10 Plagues of Egypt

Enjoy this illustrated chart and fill in details about the devastating plagues that struck Egypt before the Israelites’ deliverance from slavery. Makes a great Passover or Feast of Unleavened Bread activity for your children. Read More >

3 Days and 3 Nights

3 Days and 3 Nights

Teach the meaning and understanding of the three days and three nights spoken about by Jesus Christ in Matthew 12. Read More >